Is faith simply a matter of wishing really hard?
Not in any wise. Wishing is another form a sympathetic magic, visualizing the desired result in your mind in lieu of making a talisman. Now, if you’re a neopagan, wiccan or indigenous traditionalist etc., then knock yourself out. It’s part of the heritage you were either born into or chose, arising from a time that a bountiful harvest or the appearance of a herd of buffalo in autumn was a miracle that quite simply made the difference between life and death.
But we’re talking about Christian faith at the moment, which does not derive from that ancient tradition. Christian faith has miracles, but does not depend on them. This faith is not based on trust in miracles, but upon trust in God.
And this can be a stumbling block for many, particularly the Prosperity Cult. Thier faith is not in God, but in the miracles they believe God for, and that is tantamount to idolatry.
Idolatry in olden times revolved around the making of a talisman, and placing their hope in the thing that was made. A visulaization is a thing that you made, serves the same purpose as the talisman, and you made it with your imagination. And if your goal is to manifest your will upon the earth, then you have to trust your vision, and this is pretty much the only way to do it. Ask any business expert.
But in Christianity we are dealing with a creation that we didn’t make, and a goal that isn’t ours, but God’s. We are part of this creation, but we cannot know with certainty what our place is in it, or what we are supposed to do, unless God tells us. Think of an employee in a large business. He doesn’t get to tell the CEO what his goal is or how to achieve it. Neither do you.
And therein lies the rub. Too many want to control their own destiny, to wrest that control away from God, and the only way to do that is to turn to what has worked for businessmen and idolators. Vision, imagination, idolatry.
And these folks go to church and try to tell God what He is supposed to be doing. They use deceptive language to cover up what they’re really up to. They claim to believe God for the miracle they have chosen. Why? Because they don’t trust God to give them what they need, so they use a little witchcraft.
Those are the idols set up in their hearts. The miracles they claim to believe God for. And here’s what God has to say about that:
Ezekiel 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
It’s simple enough to tell people what they shouldn’t be doing. Any moron can do that. What this moron would like to tell you is that trusting God beyond the miracles is the key to faith.
For the miracles belong to Him, not you. If He performs them, it is for His benefit, not yours. Wrap your heart around that, and maybe you’ll begin to see.
Trust God. You really don’t have a choice.